Review: Orchard Toys big bus jigsaw

A child putting together the Orchard Toys big bus jigsaw puzzle.

I’m all for toys that encourage thought. With that in mind, I was happy to oblige when education suppliers CostCutters UK dropped me a line to see if the boys would be interested in reviewing something from their range.

Knowing how much Dylan loves both jigsaw puzzles and vehicles – and how scarily good he is at the former – I chose this one by Orchard Toys for him. I let him have it once he completed another line on his reward chart. Blogging isn’t half useful at times!

He’s a good lad most of the time so it didn’t take long for him to get his mitts on the floor puzzle. And, no surprise, he loved it. He was soon piecing it together, complete with running commentary of the picture that was appearing as he did.

The image is very detailed and there are lots of things for children to notice and talk about. This makes it good for conversation skills as well as hand-eye coordination.

Once he’d completed it for the first time, in fact, I noticed that the illustration includes a dad with a pushchair.

This gets a big thumbs up from me. A small victory, I know, but I’m getting increasingly fed up with portrayals of ‘parents’ either omitting dads completely or showing them as uninterested. Well I was impressed anyway. So much so that I’ll overlook the inclusion of an apparently helpful bus driver.

The jigsaw measures 59 x 42cm, so is big enough to keep a toddler entertained but not too large to get in the way.

The pieces are nice and sturdy. They also comfortably passed the Xander test I like to put review products through. This is impressive as he broke a door the other day.

In fact, this puzzle sufficiently piqued his interest in doing something constructive. There was a magical ten-minute spell in which the two boys were happily completing it together. Taking turns and not squabbling.

Now whoever thought something involving public transport could ever be involved in a stress-free outcome, eh?

The big bus jigsaw puzzle costs £8.70 and is suitable for children from two to five years of age.

Disclosure: I received the Orchard Toys big bus jigsaw puzzle to review and keep.

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